A centralised protection console, or PCO for short, is a workstation that gives your security system a new dimension. The PCO ensures continuous protection of the building, even when the owner is not available, and thus effectively protects the property and the owner himself. In conjunction with modern IoT devices, the PCO can also provide very interesting functions that will take away additional worries.
The centralized protection console – PCO – is a service provided mainly by private companies engaged in the protection of people and property. The PCO itself can be imagined as a set of technical means in the control room of a security agency and operators who are on duty around the clock. The technical means of the PCO are then connected via one or more communication channels to the electronic security alarm systems (EZS) of the individual guarded objects. Thanks to the direct connection to the control room, the operators can then:
- respond to a security incident in seconds,
- send their own emergency response team to the scene in minutes,
- contact the emergency services immediately in serious cases.
What and how can you connect to the centralized protection console?
In the previous paragraph, we mentioned the obvious possibility of connecting to a PCO EZS systems. What can you imagine by this? In theory, you can connect basically any set of security detection devices to the PCO, such as:
- security cameras and entire camera systems,
- wireless and contact motion detection sensors,
- glass break sensors, flood sensors and smoke detectors,
- access control and attendance systems.
All of these devices are assumed to fall under a separate security system with a control unit, usually called a control panel, within the local network. It is the control panel itself that provides the link between the local security system and the centralised security console. In practice, the following types of communication channels are most commonly encountered:
- fixed telephone line – characterized by easy surmountability (the telephone cable can be easily cut) and low frequency of checks of the connection between the object and the PCO (usually once a day); nowadays it is not considered a sufficiently secure communication channel,
- GSM module – allows communication via mobile phone network, which is slightly more expensive, but a much more reliable solution – data is transmitted encrypted, communication cannot be easily interrupted and the connection with the object can be checked even at 15-minute intervals,
- dedicated radio connection – here an agreement with a specific PCO service provider is necessary, the console must have its own radio equipment and the operator must provide additional radio equipment to the owner or manager of the guarded object; in any case, this is the most reliable method.
How PCO works and its advantages
We briefly outlined the function of PCO in the introduction – as soon as an alarm is declared in the building (or another event is transmitted to the PCO), the situation is immediately dealt with by the operator of the PCO provider. If an unwanted person is detected in the building, the PCO usually sends its own emergency response unit to the site to try to apprehend the perpetrator, while also contacting the Police of the Czech Republic and the owner or manager of the building.
A huge advantage is continuous surveillance and, in the case of CCTV systems, easy verification that there has been no false alarm. All the most important advantages could be summarised as follows:
- Faster response to security incidents thanks to centralised monitoring and coordination,
- improved visibility of the security situation across different sites and systems,
- reduction of false alarms due to thorough monitoring and verification of incidents,
- Significantly improving the safety and security of people and assets,
- reducing security costs through more efficient management of security systems,
- improved tenant and occupant satisfaction through an increased sense of security,
- Compliance with insurance conditions, or even a discount on insurance premiums (if the PCO is certified).
PCO and the possibilities of modern technology
But the list of advantages of PCOs is far from ending with the previous list of benefits. In fact, you can theoretically transmit any information to the centralised protection desk and the PCO will theoretically offer a whole range of other interesting functions:
- Integration with smart buildings and energy efficiency management systems,
- natural disaster warnings,
- rapid assistance to the disabled or elderly,
- integration with panic buttons to call for rescue and first aid,
- monitoring the timely opening and closing of the shop,
- monitoring the arrival of children from school,
- integration with vehicle registration systems that automatically detect vehicle registration plates.
Without a PCO, any electronic security alarm or electronic fire alarm system is at best a half-baked solution. Contact us, we will be happy to design a PCO solution tailored to your needs.